Barneblad: Go fish!

A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids

go fishBrought to you by LORI ANN REINHALL

With this issue’s focus on all things maritime, in the spirit of the sea, this week’s Barneblad takes up the topic of fish, swimming in to activities to help you learn more about these special underwater creatures.

Following are a few fun activities and ideas to get kids thinking about fish. 

But first, some fish facts:

  • Fish come in many colors.
  • Fish are covered in scales.
  • Fish do not make any sound.
  • Fish have gills that help them breathe in the water.
  • Fish at times are placed in aquariums to be admired.
  • Fish live all over the world: in lakes, rivers, streams, and in the ocean.
  • Fish are very healthy to eat, and many of them are wonderfully delicious. 
  • Fish can also be kept as pets in a fish bowl, but they require good care.

Norway is a seafaring nation. Some popular Norwegian fish from the sea are:

  • cod (torsk)
  • salmon (laks)
  • halibut (kveite)
  • flounder (skrubbe)
  • mackerel (makrell)

Finally, it’s time to go fishing:

  • Make 6-inch fish from colored construction paper, five for each fishes
  • Attach a paper clip to the nose of each fish. 
  • Tie a magnet to a 3-foot string that is tied to a clip. 
  • Spread out the fish and cast your lines at the same time
  • The fisher who gets the most fish is the winner!

Go Fish! is also a very popular card game. Here’s how you play:

  • Five cards are dealt to each player if three to six players are involved. (With only two players, seven cards are dealt to each.)
  • All remaining cards are placed face down in a pile.
  • Choose a player to go first (you can flip a coin).
  • On each person’s turn, ask any player for a specific card rank. For example, “Kari, please give me all your 9s.” You must already hold at least one card of the rank you ask for.
  • If the player you ask has any cards of the requested rank, she must give you all of her cards of that rank. (Kari would have to give you all of her 9s.)
  • If you get one or more cards from the player you ask, you get another turn.
  • It starts again, and you may ask any player for any rank you already hold, including the same one you just asked for. If the person you ask has no relevant cards, they say, “Go fish!”
  • You then draw the top card from the draw pile. If you happen to draw a card of the rank asked for, show it to the other players, and your turn continues. Otherwise, it is the next player’s turn. You add the drawn card to your hand. (The “next player” is the one who said, “Go fish!” When you collect a set of four cards of the same rank, immediately show the set to the other players and place the four cards face down in front of yourself. That is a “match.”)
  • Go Fish continues until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the draw pile runs out.
  • The winner is the player who then has the most matches (sets of four). For younger children you can deem “matches” a pair of a rank (two cards instead of four), which allows them to “win” a few extra times and keeps the game moving.

This article originally appeared in the June 26, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.